#OctoberFrights – Day 6: Fairy Tales and Nightmares

Today is our last day of October Frights and to close off the Hop, I’m sharing an excerpt from my WIP, Fairy Tales and Nightmares, where I’m putting a dark fantasy and horror spin on classic fairy tales. The excerpt is from my take on Sleeping Beauty…


The Sleep of Death

Once, beyond reality and memory, within the confines of a strange forgotten kingdom, a princess was born. The land rejoiced in its grand fortune, delighted in the bounty of such a fair and beauteous child, and to her naming ceremony came nobles and princes, diplomats and courtiers, all to bestow upon her the finest gifts.

Yet one arrived to the festivities who was not invited: a darkling faerie. The air stilled at her entrance, frost circling the skin, and the light dimmed to a dusky hue. She strode across the marbled floor towards the throne, riveting the attention of all present with the swish of black silk and lace, uttering a prophecy frightful and foreboding…

“When this princess reaches her sixteenth year, a curse will fall upon this kingdom. Great evil stalks this girl, and will taint her life in blood and death. Beware the child of doom.” 

With those words the faerie drew a shining sword and made to slaughter the babe in her mother’s arms. A valiant effort, but lost to a king’s guard who ran the faerie through with his own blade, killing her before she succeeded in her mission. With her final breaths, the faerie touched the edge of the baby’s forehead. A symbol of a thorn, of the briar rose, etched itself into the child’s skin.

As she died, the faerie whispered, “I did what I could. May it be enough…”

***

One bright spring morning, the old eastern tower beckoned to Princess Briar Rose and kindled her curiosity. The need to explore tickled her senses and prickled her skin, and she snuck away after breakfast to climb the stairs in the older part of the castle.

She coughed as her footsteps scraped against the stairs, ancient dust stirred by her passage, and grit filthied her skin as she steadied herself on the banister. Her impulse seemed less appealing the further she climbed, and subsequently she wandered into an unused sewing room in a final attempt at salvaging her adventure. 

Sunlight spun against the stone walls from an arched window, casting a dim warm light to illuminate the nearly empty room. For no spinning wheels or spindles greeted her, just a man waiting in a plush chair by a table, next to an open bottle of wine and two glasses.

”Hello, my dear Briar Rose. I am Andrei. I’ve been expecting you.”

Briar Rose stared, fear and wonder warred in thoughts, and she remained rooted in the open doorway.

Who is he? How dare he address me without a proper introduction? How does he even know me?

She knew she should run, but his eyes held hers in a mesmer’s gaze, the deep ocean blue pulling her into the room as the door swung shut behind her. Andrei smiled at her and her breath caught in her throat. He poured the wine into the glasses.

“Come, sit, my sweet girl, and drink with me.”

She moved without conscious thought, her feet scuffing against the wood and settled in the chair opposite the stranger. She drank of the wine as if she were a puppet, her movements as a marionette on a string being guided by another. The sweet wine infused her with a warmth, a somnolent languor that banished any trace of fear. All she saw were Andrei’s sapphire eyes, and the fullness of his grinning lips.

He reached out, caressing her chin, tilting her head ever so slightly. “Will you allow me a kiss, Briar Rose?”

She nodded, leaning forward to taste his beckoning lips.

It would be her everlasting mistake.


And don’t forget our other book goodies

October Frights Giveaway: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ac7PxRJ


Book Fair: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair


And be sure to continue hopping with the other participating blogs

Nickronomicon

GirlZombieAuthors

An Angell’s Life

Always Another Chapter

Angela Yuriko Smith

carmillavoiez.com

Frighten Me

Hawk’s Happenings

James P. McDonald

Blood Red Shadows

The Unicorn Herd

Creative Quill

#OctoberFrights – Day 5: Dark Poetry

Today, we celebrate dark poetry, with a spotlight on my new poetry book and a few poem excerpts from the collection. Enjoy.

Poetry of Monsters and Madness

From the darkness and the shadows
From the lunacy and the void
The words flow on moonlight and mayhem, slithering tentacles along the night. Follow the siren song of myth and monstrosity, the shrieking call of creatures wild and terrifying. Wander down the mind’s mania as it leads you past reality into disturbing delusion.

Come read the Poetry of Monsters and Madness.

Excerpts

Endless

In the lasting hour
of the Evermore,
in the creeping silence
of the dark wing raven,
the blind eyes see

The rivers flow in circles,
forgotten in the night
in the never-ending hour
of the hollow heart

Near the edges of forever
the sky cracks azure pale
blossoming breath of endless

The breeze blows roving time
and mislaid notes of sorrow

In the hour of Evermore


The Hessian

When the swirl of autumn leaves
stirs the dank smell of loam and dirt
and the bright moon shimmers through
the shadow of bare-boned oaken trees

When the witching hour whispers
to the prowling echoes of the dead
and that reverberation of hoofbeats
thunders down the lonesome road

He rides on the graveyard dust
and a fire-eyed black stallion
He rides on the wind of the devil,
the Headless Horseman rides tonight…


The Madness of Being

Scream
with a thousand voices
reverberations of their apathy,
pinpricks inside your purview
of existential insanity
Gods of the Void
are calling

Shriek
cascading shards of sound
glass falling into psychosis
against the swallowing sea
of forgotten secrets
Gods of the Void
are waiting


And don’t forget our other book goodies

October Frights Giveaway: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ac7PxRJ


Book Fair: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair


And be sure to continue hopping with the other participating blogs

Nickronomicon

GirlZombieAuthors

An Angell’s Life

Always Another Chapter

Angela Yuriko Smith

carmillavoiez.com

Frighten Me

Hawk’s Happenings

James P. McDonald

Blood Red Shadows

The Unicorn Herd

Creative Quill

#OctoberFrights – Day 4: Drabble Wednesday

Today I have the October Frights edition of Drabble Wednesday, with some spooky tales. Be sure to leave the lights on and enjoy….


Dark Sonata of the Moon

Glistening moonlight wrapped in the shadow of night. Calm water reflecting the hushed scene of tranquil illusion. Not a trace of wind nor breath of air, not a ripple on the lake. Time itself had stilled in anticipation, or fear.

Energy reverberated from beneath earth and silt, a stirring of eldritch things disregarded, creatures thought long dead and vanquished. Veins of ash snaked outward and upward, transforming verdant trees into living pillars black as pitch, their leaves turning crisp and sharp. The lake boiled and steam hissed, spurting hot spray ascendant, as the monsters rose from the depths of hell.


Beware the Witching Hour

A sour smell drifted on the night breeze, gracing the midnight hour and the full moon in the blackened sky. An open shutter creaked in time with sleeping breath, attracting the attention of something… uninvited.

Mist slithered through the open window, hovering over the slumbering child before morphing into its true form and settling onto the boy’s chest. The Night Hag cackled, scraping its claws against its victim’s cheek. He moaned, expelling breath, and the Hag inhaled, drawing life from the child. Terror froze the boy’s bones, and the Hag feasted, leaving nothing but a corpse to greet the sun.


Scarecrow

Peck, peck, peck.

The crow poked its beak against the head of the limp form hung from the crossed stakes. Dressed in tattered clothes and suspended by its wrists, the makeshift scarecrow dangled from the posts placed at the edge of the cornfield. Overhead, the sunset scattered orange light across the harvested ground.

Rap, rap, rap.

The bird’s beak struck something hard as it pulled at the squishy outer coating. It hopped to the shoulder and waddled down the arm. The beak snatched an eyeball from the corpse’s skull, feasting, and then another. Tasty morsels to feed its hungry belly.


And don’t forget our other book goodies

October Frights Giveaway: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ac7PxRJ


Book Fair: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair


And be sure to continue hopping with the other participating blogs

Nickronomicon

GirlZombieAuthors

An Angell’s Life

Always Another Chapter

Angela Yuriko Smith

carmillavoiez.com

Frighten Me

Hawk’s Happenings

James P. McDonald

Blood Red Shadows

The Unicorn Herd

Creative Quill

Curiosities

#OctoberFrights – Day 3: Ghosts of Yesteryear

Welcome to day 3 of October Frights where I have some ghoulish delights in the from of flash fiction dealing with ghostly hauntings.


Ghosts of Fae

Light rain settled into the mist, drumming a gentle rhythm in the puddles forming on the dirt road. The narrow rutted lane, overgrown and not frequented by many, ran through a scrub woodland before ending rather abruptly at the edge of the fens. Once, it had been a way to transport reeds, or used as a hunting track, but now it stretched and wound among tangled fauna, forgotten, lost in the echo of a past buried under modern sensibilities.

Until twilight on certain nights, within the warm light against the cold edge, when the veil between worlds shimmered and shifted subtly, letting a hint of the elder magic into the human realm. That’s when the old ghosts roamed the fens and forest, when the whispers of yesteryear resurfaced with shreds of ancient power, searching to reclaim their own. Anyone with sense stayed far away from the fenlands on those nights, safe behind closed doors guarded by locks made of iron laced steel. Too many foolish souls had vanished beyond the woods, their bones forever lost in the marshes.


Winter Ghosts

Tell me your name…

The dulcet whisper wafted on the breeze from beyond the frozen trees; branches rattled their ice in its wake. Crows swooped overhead in the grey sky, their harsh caws startling Evan nearly as much as the strange voice. He kept walking down the trail, his boots crunching against the frosted earth.

Tell me your name…

The trees rattled again, the sound like bones shaking in their grave. The snow swirled in puffs from the ground and the icy snap of the wind nipped at Evan’s face. But he didn’t turn around, never answered the disembodied murmur. He just kept moving, until a shadow crossed his path.

Tell me your name…

The apparition stood in his way. The women in black, pale and gaunt, eyes dripping blood. Evan shivered, knowing he had tarried too long in the woods. He knew he was lost.

Tell me your name…

The words spilled from his lips as the ghost smiled and the night enveloped the forest. Not a soul heard Evan scream…


And don’t forget our other book goodies

October Frights Giveaway: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ac7PxRJ


Book Fair: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair


And be sure to continue hopping with the other participating blogs

Nickronomicon

GirlZombieAuthors

An Angell’s Life

Always Another Chapter

Angela Yuriko Smith

carmillavoiez.com

Frighten Me

Hawk’s Happenings

James P. McDonald

Blood Red Shadows

The Unicorn Herd

Creative Quill

Curiosities

#OctoberFrights – Day 2: Horror Books

Today I’m spotlighting a few paranormal and horror books that may be of interest to readers.

Some of these are already in my Kindle and the others are on the TBR list

Beneath (Running From the Devil Book 1) by J.E. Taylor and Katie Salidas

An escaped demon and a snarky cat face off against the seven deadly sins.

Escaping from Hell was just the beginning of Phoebe’s problems. In Hell, she had a position of legend. A marquis of torture. But on the human plane, she is just another New York City destitute.

Before she has a chance to get her bearings on the unforgiving streets, Fate steps in and offers her a chance at redemption, but it doesn’t come cheap.

She must bring in the demons that escaped alongside her while making sure no humans are harmed in the process. In order to do that, she needs to learn to live in the human world with the help of another one of Fate’s parolees, a snarky cat named Smoke.

If it means never seeing the halls of Hell again, Phoebe will do anything, even battle the seven deadly sins single-handed.


Passenger by Mike Feria

It preys upon your guilt and your grief.

Instances of demonic possession have long been blamed for the atrocities mankind inflicts upon itself. When a demon latches onto Marshall Lison, a child, it torments, and it corrupts. Those who stand in the demon’s path are swept aside or used as pawns to commit violent crimes of escalating brutality.
As years pass into memory, the fractures in Marshall’s psychological health grow, as does the demonic influence. Is it possible to fight an intangible evil? By the time the demon’s ultimate plan is unveiled, it may be too late for what remains of Marshall’s sense of self.


Hollow by Jason LaVelle and Rebekah Jonesy

Inspired by actual events.

Keep quiet. Keep calm. And most of all, be a good girl.

Anna has always been different. That’s gotten her into trouble in the past. She hears things people aren’t supposed to hear. She knows things no one else knows. And she sees the dead as they wander about their lonely existences. Only her dog has ever believed her before.

Until she met two people who became her best friends. When they touch, they can see what she can see. It’s scary, but at least she knows she’s not going crazy now. Maybe, just maybe, she can live a normal life now?

The older Anna gets the harder it is to ignore what is going on around her. And paying attention to ghosts only makes them stronger. Even the good ones can cause a lot of trouble. And the Bad Thing in the basement, who knows her name and sends shivers down her spine, is not one of the good ones. And It is tired of being ignored by her.


A Flutter of Darkness: 15 Dark Tales by Jason LaVelle

A flutter is a gathering of butterflies. Elegant, ethereal, inspiring joy and wonder. But not all butterflies feed on flowers and light. Some are drawn to decomposing bodies and trickling pools of blood. Some, are drawn to darkness.

This collection of short stories and novellas is the perfect place to admire those creatures. Whimsical and beautiful, splattered with terror, these stories show the darkness that lays hidden within us all.


Golem by PD Alleva

“An extraordinary psychological horror book. Excellently written, with a twisted, spiraling, unexpected end that will leave you speechless.” ~ TBM Horror Experts

Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil.

A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolation, contempt, and fear.

On November 1, 1951, war hero John Ashton was promoted to detective. His first assignment: find the district attorney’s missing daughter. But his only lead is Alena Francon, a high society sculptor and socialite committed to Bellevue’s psychiatric facility. 

Alena has a story for the new detective. A story so outlandish John Ashton refuses to heed the warning. Alena admits to incarnating Golem, a demonic force, into her statue. A devil so profound he’s infiltrated every part of New York’s infrastructure. Even worse, he uses children to serve as bodily hosts for his demonic army, unleashing a horde of devils into our world. 

When Alena’s confidant, Annette Flemming, confirms the existence of Golem, John is sent on a collision course where fate and destiny spiral into peril, and the future of the human race hangs in the balance. 


This Side of Shadows: A Compilation of Horror Shorts by JK Allen and Carol Allen

A horror compilation of short stories and novellas, This Side of Shadows has thrilling tales to delight and capture your imagination. From the dangers of dystopian futures to the things that go bump in the night, there is a story in between these pages for everyone. So open up a page, and prepare to delight yourself and make it harder to sleep at night. Seventeen stories await you to bring them to life.


Where All is Night, and Starless by John Linwood Grant

Where All is Night, and Starless collects seventeen unsettling stories of our fears and weaknesses, and of our often unreliable strengths: stories of monstrosity and the occasional hope, deliberately themed across three aspects of weird fiction. The section ‘On Mythos’ covers re-interpretations and subversions of themes from H P Lovecraft’s Mythos; ‘On Mysteries’ looks into strange transformations, and ‘On Myth’ delves into the realms of folklore and folk horror, each with a dark twist.

From the churning hell of World War One to the quiet English suburbs, from contemporary Alaska to colonial Africa, these are weird tales of the decisions we make when faced with something strange, with turns wry, ironic, and dark. Some horrors are found not outside, but in the mirror before us.


And don’t forget our other book goodies

October Frights Giveaway: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ac7PxRJ


Book Fair: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair


And be sure to continue hopping with the other participating blogs

Nickronomicon

GirlZombieAuthors

An Angell’s Life

Always Another Chapter

Angela Yuriko Smith

carmillavoiez.com

Frighten Me

Hawk’s Happenings

James P. McDonald

Blood Red Shadows

The Unicorn Herd

Creative Quill

Curiosities